The " Idlewild Pavilion": One Level Elaborate facility with no waterslides


This facility was located where 3rd Avenue joins Lake Street. This is the location where the Power Plant  was later located until the 1950's and is where the open park area of Sailboard Beach exists today.  It the shoreline location where the community holds the annual Windsurfing Regatta & Unvarnished Music Festival.

Notice the elaborate railings and walkway around the entire perimeter of the building.

This facility existed for a period of time from the 1880's to 1899. It was built by two brothers - George and Frank Day - the former a banker and the latter owning a jewelry store. They built this artistic pavilion on the lake shore at the foot of 3rd Avenue and imported a fair sized passenger steam boat. The steamer's name was the “Idlewild" and the pavilion was called the same. There were social gatherings there.

However, there are no waterslides nor bathing buoys visibly in use. The only boats visibly in use are one sailing craft and one row boat, which seems to inadequate for a public bathhouse.

This "Pavilion" existed at the same time as a simple boat house & waterslide Tobogganslide and possibly other boathouses that were located to the west along the shore. .

The shoreline, in this photo, is a very gentle slope, much more of a gentle slope than now exists on this section of Lake Okabena shoreline.

There are no visible RR tracks for the Rock Island RR because this facility was removed before the Rock Island track was laid there in 1899.

There is no visible street or roadway except in the lower left corner, which seems to be more like someone driving on grassland than a roadway similar to what one would expect of Lake Street or Hwy 59&60 leading to the underpass under the Mpls to Sioux City RR.

This photo is a B.F. Buchan postcard, a firm that was one of the early Worthington photographers, so there is very minimal chance that this is mistakenly a photo on a lake other than Lake Okabena.

The information on this page was written by Bob Rohrer, who takes full responsibility for the accuracy of this information,  based upon information gleaned from personal observation, from articles and observations by local historian Ray Crippen on these subjects and from books by AP Rose "History of Nobles County" 1908 and Al Goff "History of Nobles County" 1948, and from an 1882 State of Minnesota Geology report.

Bob may be contacted at or 507/372-5715